The older thread (matte alchemy) didn't get much response and has basically gone away, so asking here in a new slot:
I'm looking for info on mediums, probably custom and maybe in the day a guarded secret for some, that were used by oil on glass/masonite painters.
I've seen a lot of paintings up close at ILM, and am always fascinated by the quality of the surface and finish, so I'm curious if anyone has learned a thing or two about what artists were mixing into their paint to work as quickly, as large, and keep the paint film consistent?
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Yeah, part of me thinks that what was used was probably fairly straightforward, maybe an additional mix of something, but maybe an alkyd, a bit of turps or OMS... I'd say no dammar varnish, which would probably remove the need for turps... see why I call it alchemy? :-) In the few vids of artists painting (esp. one of Ellenshaw knocking in masses... wow!), the speed and the directness of the painting is awesome.
1) minimizing brush strokes
2) drying time
3) sheen (very little to no gloss)
These, to me, are very desirable qualities. Maybe I'm just lazy/impatient and have yet to appreciate brush calligraphy- well, no I do dig it, but I just love that 'photo-impressionism'.
Ah, the hunt. Whatever I/we may unearth, the basic truth is that to an individual, whatever they used, they're very gifted painters, the hours are much more important than the make-up.
Thank you for replying here, back to painting.
Got a response tonight to an IM I sent a matte artist. Wow.
Some of the info I had got in little pieces through the years and had it re-iterated, some of it, awesomely, was matter of fact.
The threads and emails I've sent to folks started because I've been curious about this for a long time, and the few contemporary matte artists I know are purely digital, so I started hunting around while we've been discussing the couple dozen or so mattes we've seen up close
A decade or so ago I spent a lot of time with Ralph McQuarrie, who's known for his great use of cel vinyl in his illustrations. He used to joke with me about how he'd get teased for breaking out the acrylics and cv for his mattes-- so I was under the impression that the rest of the ILM dept were purists, slinging oil. Apparently, not so much.
To keep this short, suffice it to say that whatever could be done for speed and time and sanity were employed, mediums seemed to be the preference of the artist, depending on their background and inclination, and some were really flexible about combinations. The key factor in the quality of the work was the understanding that the artists strove for in painting realistically. Be careful with that word, maybe 'believably' is better. 'Photo-impressionism'.
In striving to get there, my take on it, all of the matters of paint quality (physical properties of the actual paint) were learnt and probably got to during their years of training, striving to be better painters (and remember, for the bad-asses of the 80s and 90s, it was hard to find programs where you weren't still getting pushed into that modern art crap)... these men and women were out for blood! Or not, no not really... :-)
I did get another response about the nature of some mediums used by others... and part of it seems to be more variations on a theme- I think we were right talking about alkyds and other minor tweaks you could make to paint to gain the best variations on paint film, sheen, consistency, workability, drying times... etc etc etc. Some did hold their 'recipes' a bit secret, but I have a feeling this was more insecurity than any cherished formula, the more I think of it.
More as I can, I'm wiped.
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That's crazy good info but I still fail to understand any in depth on the matter.
I mean, who used what now? As in, do you have any information pointing out specific approaches or are you overall saying that it has always been a 'whatever gets the job done' kinda thing?
Thank you for your contribution.
You should write an article about the subject matter.
Traditional Matte Painting deserves more attention, I believe.
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